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Parsing Power
Your coverage of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” makes for an inspirational read [April 30]. It is a neat touch that, in many cases, the profile writers seem more famous and influential than their subjects.
Brian Russell,
Ellenbrook, Australia

Seeing athletes Jeremy Lin and Yani Tseng on the TIME 100 list should be a striking reminder to all Taiwan parents that in this globalized and diverse world, focusing just on getting good grades isn’t the only way to guarantee a better future.
Bruce Yang Po-chih,
Changhua, Taiwan

Thank you for a very interesting but slightly superficial list of the most “influential” people in the world. Humans are spiritual beings, and many of us are still influenced primarily by our church, mosque, temple or other places of worship and those who serve us there. I find it unbalanced that so few religious leaders (and not politically oriented ones) made it onto your list.
J.J. Swart,
Somerset West, South Africa

Many of the people on your list are not known outside the U.S. For example, football quarterback Tim Tebow. A large part of the world’s population has no idea what American football is about, let alone heard the name Tim Tebow. What his influence on my life should be, I cannot fathom.
Marion Reich,
Bremen, Germany

I am a 15-year-old who loves to pick up your magazine every time I see it on our kitchen table, and this issue was one I really loved. You made me aware of inspiring people whom you don’t hear about every day, such as Anjali Gopalan, Maryam Durani and Mamata Banerjee. Keep making issues like this because I can’t get enough!
Elena Pereira,
Scoresby, Australia

Your TIME 100 issue left me disappointed, as so many items are written by such unconditional admirers of the honorees that they end up seeming quite unbalanced. Take the piece on Benjamin Netanyahu by U.S. majority leader Eric Cantor, who ranks him “among the world’s great leaders.” Bringing an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict would assure Netanyahu a place in history, but, unfortunately, he is no statesman, just a mediocre politician.
Marcelle Viale,
Nice, France

How could Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister Pippa Middleton be more influential than Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi?
Keith Appleyard,
West Wickham, England

As a scientist, I tend to hold the view that science has shaped our contemporary world more than any other aspect of our humanity has. I am shocked by the small representation of scientists on your list.
Yves d’Udekem,
Brighton, Australia

Putting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on your esteemed list is a disservice to Nigerians, who deserve real change after too many years in the doldrums.
Dele Olaniran,
Lagos, Nigeria

When They Did What
I want to congratulate Heather Jones for her remarkable infographic [“Influence: A Brief History,” April 30]. What beautiful work!
Isabelle Durand,
Villars-St.-Georges, France

Here we are trying to save the earth by using low-wattage lights, and you are using microscopic fonts in pale colors. Your timeline might be very clever, but how are we supposed to read it? O.K., so I’m old and grumpy, but this is supposed to be a news magazine, not an art installation.
Fred Gee,
Elimbah, Australia

I find it rather disheartening that in the overview of transformative moments of the past two centuries, TIME felt that the publication of The Feminine Mystique in 1963 and Roe v. Wade in 1973 were less influential than the design of the bikini or Barbie’s debut.
Lisa Nazarenko,

Rethinking the Afterlife
Re “Heaven Can’t Wait” [April 16]: How anyone can make the world a better place by rethinking the hereafter is beyond me. Wouldn’t it be more logical to make the world a better place by thinking about life as we know it now? Heaven hasn’t helped us improve conditions on earth, and the bloodguilt of many of the world’s religions is a historical fact. If I replace believing with reasoning, I may already be on the right track to making the world a better place now.
Burghard Filbrandt,
Mörlenbach, Germany

What if heaven is not a place but a state of being? If we accept that we, as beings, are made not just of flesh and blood but also of spirit, why can we not accept the idea of an existence that is without matter and without the need of defined concepts of time and space?
Julia Galperti,
Lake Como, Italy

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